Accountable and Responsible: Likewise Misunderstood by US Department of Education

The previous article on this blog, Accountable and Responsible: Both Require Being Able, highlights the undeniable fact that we cannot expect something out of nothing. The fruits of education depend on the care and support we give to educators. That is Education 101. It seems that we usually forget the fact that we usually get what we pay for. This forgetfulness affects not only politicians and policy makers in the Philippines, but also those in the United States. Here is a piece of news from the Department of Education in the US:

Copied from the Washington Post
In this piece of news, US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is quoted:
“We know that when students with disabilities are held to high expectations and have access to the general curriculum in the regular classroom, they excel.”
The new policy announced by Duncan essentially requires states to produce evidence showing students with special needs are indeed making academic progress. Without such proof, states stand to lose federal funding earmarked for special education.

One reaction from this news is from the blog Curmudgucation. It is quite witty:
"Maybe Arne is on to something. Maybe blind students can't see because nobody expects them to."
It is a fact that there are children that have special needs. These needs justify the additional resources required. Students with special needs do not simply have to work harder. These students do not require just the same high expectations to succeed. These students need individualized education plans. This is special education. It requires resources and support, and not a litany of standards nor rounds of standardized exams. Before we can make schools responsible and accountable, we need to make sure that we have made them able first.